How Calligraphy Clubs are Making the World a Better Place

Many universities in Japan have a Calligraphy Clubs led by students, and many students learn Calligraphy as club activities. Hosei University also has a Calligraphy Club called “Hosei University Shodōkai”.


Hosei University Shodōkai students


Calligraphy Exhibition at Kumin Gallery – エコギャラリー新宿

Usually, a University Calligraphy Club is only for students enrolled in that university. But Hosei University Shodōkai is so unique and intercollegiate. It accepts not only Hosei University students but also other university students in Tokyo. Now, over 50 members learn calligraphy twice a week at the Ichigaya Campus of Hosei University.

Some students who join a club have been learning calligraphy since they were young, and some start to learn calligraphy as beginners. Every type of student can join the University Calligraphy Club activities.

They write copies of famous classics by ancient Masters for learning calligraphy techniques. There were a lot of ancient calligraphers in history. Among them were Chinese politicians. The 4th century Calligrapher Wáng Xīzhī is the most popular in calligraphy history.


Penmanship Lesson


Penmanship Lesson

They learn to write various character types; Kaisho (Chinese Block style), Gyosho (Semi cursive style), Sousho (Cursive style), Reisho (ancient angular style), Tensho (seal engraving style), Kana (Japanese syllabary), etc. Sometimes they learn penmanship calligraphy (calligraphy with a pen and a pencil). Penmanship is more useful in daily life than calligraphy with a brush. So “Calligraphy With a Pen” and “Calligraphy With a Brush” are both important.

Calligraphy Exhibition at Kumin Gallery - エコギャラリー新宿

Calligraphy Exhibition at Kumin Gallery – エコギャラリー新宿

Every year the works of all members are shown at the Exhibition hall in August and at the campus festival in November. At the festival, they also have calligraphy performances with fashionable music (American and Japanese pop star music etc.) in front of large audiences. They also go on retreats and deepen their friendships.


Calligraphy Exhibition at Kumin Gallery – エコギャラリー新宿


Calligraphy Exhibition at Kumin Gallery – エコギャラリー新宿


Calligraphy Exhibition at Kumin Gallery – エコギャラリー新宿


Calligraphy Exhibition at Kumin Gallery – エコギャラリー新宿

Hosei University Shodōkai is a member of the “Tokyo Student Calligraphy Association” which consists of nine university calligraphy clubs: Atomi University, Keio University, Kokugakuin University, Tokyo Woman’s Christian University, Japan Women’s University, Hosei University, Meiji University, Rikkyo University, and Waseda University. Members of the “Tokyo Student Calligraphy Association” hold exhibitions, calligraphy workshops and go to a calligraphy camp together.


Calligraphy Performance at the Campus Festival


Calligraphy Performance at the Campus Festival


Calligraphy Camp


“Tokyo Student Calligraphy Association” workshop

Hosei University Shodōkai students can have valuable experiences through calligraphy club activities. They learn not only calligraphy techniques but also communication skills, management skills and build friendships alongside consideration for others.


Hosei University Shodōkai students



Their friendships can continue after graduation. The graduates often participate in calligraphy exhibitions in conjunction with working for a company. The students participation in calligraphy associations from college into their adult life continues to have great value and meaning.


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Sakiko Yanagisawa

Sakiko Yanagisawa began her study of Shodo at the age of 6. Entering Japan Women's University in 1996 and majoring in Japanese Literature and Language, she studied with various shodo Masters of the Shiun Shodokai, including teachers such as master Okoshi Setsudo and Master Ishizawa Kochu among others. After graduating from university in 2000, she decided to specialize in Shodo. She received the title of Shihan in 2008 from Shiun Shodokai.

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